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Lunch Sized Adventures – 5 Boroughs

I am woefully behind in telling you about my dining out experiences, so it’s catch up time here at TIFFIN. This week it’s all about the restaurants!

Stone’s Corner is once again going through a period of revitalisation. It’s one of Brisbane’s oldest southern suburbs and it’s written in the very fabric of the precinct. Old tram stops, an Art Deco cinema façade, the 125 year old hotel, 1960’s shopping arcades, Stones Corner has it all. There was a factory outlet boom in the 1990’s but that faded in the wake of DFO. When the banks and the supermarkets start to leave, you know a place is slowly failing. Just now though, there’s a new band of savvy hispsterpreneurs who are having a go at making Stones Corner a cool place to shop and dine again.Some early trailblazers included Lady Marmalade (tiny shop, excellent breakfasts) and Shady Palms (head to the courtyard out the back) but now there are a growing number who are stripping back the brickwork, raiding council cleans up for some tables and chairs and are ready to welcome us to The Corner.

It was a weekday when we swung past 5 Boroughs looking for a quick lunch. We were greeted and seated at one of the small or large shared tables at this casual New York City influenced diner with a nice looking fit out and hip tableware. When you’re ready, you place your order and then await table delivery. There’s everything you’d expect on this US style menu including burgers, fries and onion rings, ribs (sold out on the day we visited) and the famous New York Reuben Sandwich (also sold out at lunch). We fared better with a Cuban ($13), stacked high with pulled pork and ham, melted Swiss and fresh pickles, freshly made and delivered to our table within a few minutes. The flavour was good and it was a big sandwich. So big in fact that we shared it, along with a serve of onion rings and the amusingly named criss cross chips. I had scouted out the meals of others and knew to order one to share given the generous servings.

5 Boroughs trio

Five Boroughs has had a lot of publicity about its good quality burgers and other offerings. They are masters at publicity. When you type the name into the search engine, they are splashed about in every online magazine and newspaper, talking about their authentic and no fuss meals. For me, it was a mixed bag. It’s true that I didn’t have a burger but 5 Boroughs bills itself as ‘More than another burger joint’. The sandwich was definitely generous, fresh and fairly priced. On the other hand, I don’t think the onion rings ($6) were made on premises. They were basic and identical to a large burger chain’s version. Very ‘manufactured’. I’d suggest changing the recipe or, ditching the pre-made rings altogether. The criss cross (waffle) chip were fine but overpriced at $9 a bowl. They did not make me jump! jump! I found it surprising that two staples in a US diner would also be sold out. I imagine that’s to do with stock control and can be sorted but it didn’t really help me out. I must say that I was also taken aback by one of the staff members asking me why I was taking photos on my phone. He wanted to know what I was going to do with them. This I might add, whilst I stood waiting to place my order as they much around trying to work out how to use the register. I countered by saying surely I wasn’t the first person to take a snap on a phone. He explained there’d be some problems with people photographing the fit out to copy and later came over to apologise but I was certainly surprised at the interaction.

I’m not saying there is anything particularly wrong or bad about 5 Boroughs. Indeed, there’s a lot that is good but there are inconsistencies in pricing, product and service that mean it’s not at the top of my go to list. You can draw your own conclusion.

5 Boroughs
9/401-405 Logan Rd
Stones Corner  Qld  4120

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4 comments… add one
  • Jan Rhoades June 23, 2015, 8:41 pm

    Sounds great Tiffin. What goes around comes around. I must find time to go and have a look one day soon.

  • Mel @ Mel Kettle Consulting June 24, 2015, 9:59 am

    We had lunch there on Monday – loved the burger I had. Found the chips a bit salty and the karrage wings very quite ordinary with no distinguishing flavour. I found it weird that the music was all from English bands. Surely they could find music from NYC to play!! I’ll go back for a burger as it was one of the better I’ve eaten in Brisbane.

    • Fiona Ryan June 24, 2015, 6:08 pm

      English music? That’s hilarious! I think they are all flash and not a lot of substance. I’m off to Indimex tomorrow night. I know you enjoy it so we’ll see what eventuates.

  • sherry from sherrys pickings June 29, 2015, 2:01 pm

    how rude to give you a hard time about taking photos. i have read that southern places are forbidding people to do that – is that even legal?:) and i am starting to feel a bit odd at various cafes and restaurants these days when i take photos for future reviewing. are they that insecure? i always ask if i can take photos if i am taking one of the staff for instance. anyway i am really over American diner food, not that i was ever into it really. it just seems cheap and nasty to me most of the time.

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